The Ultimate Car Seat Walk of Shame

Since mentioning that I had “The Ultimate Car Seat Walk of Shame” to reveal, I have found myself making excuses for not participating in the Mom Walk. Last week, I determined that it was really, really important that Jen was given an opportunity to post her own Mom Walk of Shame. This week, I found myself encouraging her to post another one because my own ultimate reveal could wait until next week– it wasn’t a big deal– I could just post mine next week.

Okay, okay, enough procrastinating. Here it is:

While Omar, Becca and I were in Mexico, there were one two times that I nursed Becca in the backseat of the vehicle while Omar was driving.

Let me clarify that this was not the desperate, lean-over and nurse as the child is strapped into her car seat and screaming bloody murder.

Instead, this was me, unstrapping her from her car seat (as she was screaming bloody murder), pulling her into my lap and nursing her as if I was sitting in a chair in my living room. And I have to say, it actually felt pretty comfortable and I could understand why there was a lot of resistance to children being placed in a plastic car seat rather than being held in their mother’s arms. It does ‘feel’ safe and it is hard to imagine that she could come to any harm as I held her.

The first time I nursed her as we were driving, I felt as if I ‘didn’t have any choice’ and felt that we were under the safest circumstances for doing this. Becca had pink-eye in both eyes, was in the process of developing double ear infections, had a pretty intense cold and was just out-and-out miserable. We were on the way to Omar’s grandmother’s grave site to visit it for the first time (he had been unable to return home for her funeral) and were driving on a narrow dirt road with deep trenches on either side of us and no intersections as far as the eye could see. We had already been traveling for an hour, had quite a bit more time to go, there wasn’t any room to pull over on the side of the road and did I mention that Becca was miserable? There was mucous streaming from both eyes and her nose, she was coughing and sneezing, and she was long past her nap time. I knew that if she could just nurse for a few minutes, it could relax her and then she might be able to drift off to sleep. (I did nurse her for a few minutes and I could feel her rigid body slowly relax as she drifted off to sleep).

The second time I did it, it was on the way home from that trip and under similar circumstances.

The third time, it was a few days later and there were too many people in the car so I tried placing her in her travel car seat, sitting her in my lap and then strapping her into my seatbelt like tandem skydivers but that just didn’t work.

I am not proud of the fact that I did this and completely, irrefutably understand the importance of car seats and car seat safety.

I am also amazed at how profoundly the prevailing attitudes towards car seat safety in Mexico effected my own views on car seats during my time there. Throughout our stay, Becca was always strapped in (except for the three times I mentioned), however, I found my own horror of improper car seat safety decreased as each day passed. Some of the images from that trip that pop into my head are: my 3 year-old niece perched on the front-console of a mini van as it weaved in and out of city traffic, a woman sitting in the front passenger seat cradling a blanket-wrapped baby in her arms, my nephew proudly caring his 6 month old daughter around in a $50+ infant car seat but never bothering to actually strap it in as he placed it in the backseat of his car.

Fortunately, there were no repercussions to Becca travelling in a car without being strapped in (which I am grateful for) and her car-seat-free experience didn’t result in her resisting traveling in her car seat.

BUT the Mom Walk of Shame is all about sharing those mom moments that no one is proud of so this was my Ultimate Car Seat Walk of Shame.

I would love to hear about any recent Mom Walks of Shames that you might have taken.

Mary Kate



Filed under Uncategorized, Walk of Shame

2 responses to “The Ultimate Car Seat Walk of Shame

  1. Oh Mary. I wouldn’t have admitted it before but since you took the leap…. When I was in Florida, I did the same thing. We were going from my grandmother’s to my mom’s house (which is about 3 miles). John Patrick decided he was famished all the sudden and started crying hysterically. I crawled in the backseat, took him out of his seat, and nursed him. I never thought I would admit it to anyone. I’m glad I’m not the only one. My mom made me feel a lot better. She just kept saying, “What? Are we supposed to just listen to him scream?” ha ha

  2. Jus

    Oh Gosh. This is sooo the norm for me. I’m from Singapore and I just found your blog while googling “baby ate styrofoam” and reading your archives..

    While seat belts for all passengers are mandatory, car seats are not. I prefer to hold him myself that over time (he’s 15mths old now mobile, active) he refused to be tied down into a car seat – not that i try hard enough anyway.

    He even stands on the front passenger – usually my mum’s – lap enjoying the view. Should i feel guilty?

    The thing is the car seat is sooooo hard to strap on to the seat belt. We need to take it out every so often so that all 5 adults and 2 babies can fit in. So there~

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